A stronger material than metal is paper

Researchers at the University of Maryland wanted to find stronger materials to replace metals, but the answer was not about carbon fibers nor graphene, but paper. Scientists have been trying to find a material with both strength and toughness. However, it seems that fish and bear's paw can not have both, you seem to only choose one of the two characteristics. Even materials like cast iron or diamonds are brittle at the same time as they have strength. At this time, the researchers thought of a special type of paper.

Scientists use cellulose, an environmentally friendly material, to make paper. They tried a variety of different diameters, from 30 microns to 10 nanometers. Finally, it was found that when the cellulose diameter was 10 nanometers, the paper was the best. Compared with ordinary notebook paper, its toughness was 40 times and the strength was 130 times.

It is explained that the strength of cellulose-made paper is due to the presence of hydrogen bonds between the cellulose chains. When the cellulose chains break, the hydrogen bonds recombine automatically, a bit like self-healing ability. Why is the smaller the diameter of cellulose, the stronger and tougher? This is because the hydrogen bonds in a unit volume are larger than the large diameter materials.

The researchers said that the future of cellulose-based new materials will not only be stronger but also lighter in weight. People may later be able to see a paper-led electronic age.

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